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Ups and Downs - Fall 2023



Ever since I first took on Newsletter-writing duties for Rogers Park Builders Club, I’ve kept a spreadsheet with information from each edition, tracking both articles and word-count across the years. I guess I did this just to stay organized. It also made it easier for me to look things up once a Newsletter was published and I had moved on to the next one.

Little did I know when I first got started that this spreadsheet would grow to almost 750 lines of data. It’s almost like a time-capsule. Thanks to this spreadsheet, I know that my first Newsletter went out in the Summer of 2010, a little more than 13 years ago. Including the current Fall 2023 Newsletter, I have put out 54 editions totaling almost 400,000 words.

You can credit (or blame) Marty Max, our amazing former RPBG President, for roping me in. Anyone who knows Marty knows he’s a force of nature and not someone who takes “no” for an answer easily. Besides, I liked to write and had already contributed articles to the Newsletter. I figured I was up to the challenge. After all, how hard could it be?!?

When I first started, Newsletters were laid out, printed and sent by US mail to all of our readers. For the first several years, my layout and design person was the wonderful and talented Heather Davis who now lives with her husband in Asheville, North Carolina. I got to see them in Asheville a few years ago and can report they are both doing great. After Heather left, Walt Kennedy took over layout duties until we moved to an online-only format. Brad Schwartzhoff has been doing our online layout and design ever since, although Walt continues to provide graphics and photographs – some of which he created from scratch!

I’ve had lots of people contribute articles over the years. I have to give a special thanks to Doug Imber of Essex Realty and Verella Osborne of Legal Document Management, Inc. Doug has written extensively about the Rogers Park market and larger economic trends impacting multifamily properties, both in Chicago and nationally. Verella has shared her deep knowledge of the legal environment in which we operate, tipping us off about impending legislation and any legal changes in how we must to operate our properties. Many other people have written articles over the years. If you are one of them, I thank you and am grateful.

Of course, all of our past presidents have also contributed articles on a nearly quarterly basis. I’ve worked with Marty Max, John Brauc, Allen Smith and, of course, our amazing current RPBG (and NBOA) President, Mike Glasser. All have contributed unique and interesting stories, full of helpful information and observations that have made the Newsletter more interesting and its outlook more broad-based.

Every one of these people, from the designers to the contributors to the past Presidents, has made significant contributions. I may have gotten the credit, but this was truly a group effort. This is as good a time as any to thank everyone for all of their hard work and dedication to getting these newsletter delivered – quarter after quarter after quarter.

But, as I wrote in my last Ups and Downs article, the time has come for me to put down the pen and turn to other things. My move to Madison, and our company’s shifting investment strategy away from the Chicago area and to southern Wisconsin, have made it harder for me to stay current on what’s going on in Rogers Park and Chicago. We all have limited hours in the day. In wrapping up my Newsletter duties, I know I will have more time to pursue other interests that have gotten a bit crowded out by all my other responsibilities.

But don’t get me wrong. Writing this Newsletter has been a labor of love. I’ve gotten to know more about Rogers Park, our city, our members and other stake-holders than would ever have been possible had it not been for my Newsletter responsibilities.

In doing this work, I can tell you from first-hand experience that we have one of the most outstanding organizations in Chicago with some of the finest, most amazing, talented and committed people I know. My favorite part about writing this Newsletter has been getting to know our members and telling their stories. That has been my highest honor and greatest privilege.

My intent is to stay involved with RPBG to the extent that I can, given that I no longer live in the area. If nothing else, I hope that what I have been able to do with the Newsletter over these past 13 years has helped keep people informed and entertained.

Marty, you got the ball rolling. Mike, you’ve been an amazing leader and a pleasure to work with. To everyone, it’s been a terrific ride.

Signing off for one last time – Steve Cain


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